Accused Haredi British Pedophile Who Fled Prosecution Denied Israeli Citizenship – For Now

By Shmarya Rosenberg (
November 3, 2013

In what is being called a landmark decision, last week a panel of three Israel Supreme Court justices unanimously denied aliyah [immigration] rights to a British haredi man accused of sexually abusing at least three children, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The man, Todros Grynhaus, jumped bail and fled to Israel in February to avoid prosecution. He was later arrested in Jerusalem on an international arrest warrant.

The three justice panel reportedly ruled that Israel’s Law of Return, which grants automatic citizenship to any Jew from anywhere in the world who immigrates to Israel, could not be used to evade serious criminal prosecution.

Grynhaus taught as a rebbe in a haredi Jewish school. He is reportedly slated to stand trial in Manchester, UK next month.

This is reportedly one of only a tiny number of cases in the history of Israel in which automatic Israeli citizenship has been denied to a Jew under a clause in the Law of Return that allows doing so if the Jew could be considered to be a danger to society. Mobster Meyer Lansky was one of those cases.

Grynhaus’s attorneys are still fighting the extradition. Israel’s attorney general will give a final ruling on the case, and could rule to keep Grynhaus in Israel.

Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, could also in theory intercede – although in practice this type of intercession is extremely rare.

One of the three Supreme Court judges, Hanan Melzer, reportedly noted that Israeli law may only allow for a complete formal extradition process – which could take as much as two years. Grynhaus could released from Israeli prison during those proceedings (and in theory could easily disappear into Israel’s large haredi community).

Grynhaus has been in Israeli custody since shortly after he fled Britain in February using a false passport. He was reportedly arrested after an international warrant was issued by British police who were able to locate Grynhaus – leaving Israel with no real option other than arresting him.

Grynhaus was reportedly trying to board a bus in Jerusalem with his wife and children at the time of his arrest.

Grynhaus’s British bail conditions specifically barred him from leaving Britain and barred him from being alone unsupervised with his children.

The JC reports that Britain’s Home Office appears “unsure” about how it will return Grynhaus to Britain, and has refused to comment on the extradition process.

Grynhaus’s attorneys, Israel’s Interior Minister and the Britain’s Home Office all have have 30 days from the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling to submit arguments challenging or supporting it.